like a rickshaw getting pulled around by another rickshaw

Overheard conversation in class about an assignment to be handed in:
A: “Were we supposed to print double or single-sided?”
B: “I don’t know.”
A: “Well I wasn’t sure, so I did both. I didn’t want to get points off for something silly like that.”


Our previous assignment requested that we print double-sided. It would make sense to do the same this time, especially if you understand the main reason for why that was requested, which is to save paper. Printing both a double-sided and a single-sided copy defeats this purpose and truly makes me sad.

Student A was so fixated on not losing any points the assignment was worth that the greater understanding was missed. The student may not totally be at fault. (S)he may be a product of a results-driven education system. In any case, this type of narrow mentality and misunderstanding is still very much prominent even among the supposedly-conscious younger generation.

Thoughts?




Modest Mouse – Steam Engenius

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2 Responses

  1. chewbear says

    I think it could have been more clear if they wanted it in double-sided or single-sided, but if the student really was concerned, a quick email would have solved the issue. I had emailed the TA to find out if it was double or single spaced and got a response. In any case, I often print my assignments double-sided when not specified as a default and have never gotten complaints. I even got the prof to approve printing exams double-sided when I was a TA last semester. I can’t imagine anyone having real qualms about it, but I guess it could happen.

  2. Nat says

    I think it’s possible the student got burned on a previous assignment for not following instructions (some professors can actually be very petty and ridiculous), and is now overcompensating.

    However, assuming this is a science class, and probably one in which conservation is stressed as a value for the course… this is pretty reprehensible behavior.